Kyle Petty gets it wrong again

With the changing landscape around the Stewart-Hass release of Ryan Newman and subsequent expansion to four cars with Kurt Busch, it’d be easy to assume that Tony Stewart simply lied to Ryan Newman about the 2014 plan of SHR.

If you’re Kyle Petty, that’s exactly what you did:

“I was pretty disappointed to hear Kyle Petty say that we basically lied to Ryan and deceived Ryan,” Stewart said. “Deceived was the word that he used actually. They said we deceived him … in doing this.”

Why would Kyle Petty say such things? It’s pretty obvious that Stewart had no idea that Gene Haas was going go all “lone cowboy” and buy a fourth team for the 2014 season.

If Kyle Petty had bothered to talk to people involved, or even read one of the Gene Haas press interviews (see our report), he wouldn’t make such ridiculous statements.

But then, he is Kyle Petty. Wrong about Danica Patrick, wrong about Denny Hamlin, wrong about Stewart-Hass. Which other of the 40-odd teams and drivers will he be wrong about next? My guess is all of them.

Kickin’ it on an old school surface with new school tires in Atlanta

This week’s schmak is a little shorter than normal due to a tight recording schedule.

Still, plenty to schmak about – the race at Atlanta, the Max Papis schmak, and a Richmond preview.

Picks for next week:

Coach: Joey Logano
Rob: Clint Bowyer

And the Jimmie Johnson catastrophe of the week:
Coach: Spin
Rob: Blown tire

A Glintering Example of Mildly Amusing Meaningless Drivel… at Bristol

This week’s podcast is one of our most immature late night recordings. Or fun, depending on how you look at it.

Picks for next week:

Coach: Kurt Busch
Rob: Kevin Harvick

Note: My apologies for the lateness of this podcast. It was recorded on Tuesday night, but life this week precluded me from editing and posting until now.

Kissing the bricks, launching a Tee, and clarifying comments

This week is a big show, starting with our teespring t-shirt launch, follow up from the New Hampshire spotter controversy, Indy review, TV review, the future NBC TV deal, and more.

Picks for next week at Pocono:

Rob: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Coach: Joey Logano

Notes from New Hampshire

The Modifieds

I saw about half of the Modified race on Saturday, and the half I saw was great. Pushing, bumping, trading the lead every 2 or 3 laps, good cars going to the front but not running away from the field – it was pretty much everything you want in a race. I only wish I knew the drivers better, so that each move would have had more significance in my mind. Anyway, they were awesome.

I actually caught this race by accident, as I was at the track to see if I could get Keselowski to sign my Track Schmak shirt (he was the only driver that I knew was signing autographs). Anyway, I forgot that you have to buy tickets to get stuff autographed, and you had to get them at 8 am or something stupid like that. So no schmak autograph. But still there was “Schmak at the Track!”

Photo

The Nationwide Race

Terrible. Horrible. Easily the worst race I’ve ever seen in person. Kyle Busch dominated, got sent back by pit strategy or a mistake or something, spent 50 laps coming back to the front. Brian Vickers held him off for a while, but as soon as Busch got past, it was over. The only redeeming thing about the race was the caution with 2 to go, which lead to 3 Green-White-Checker attempts. 2 out of the 3 restarts, Kyle Busch got away easily. The second restart, Vickers kept up until entering turn 1. Then it was over.

I’ll have some more thoughts on how to improve the Nationwide racing on this week’s schmak (due out on Thursday-ish), but for now, that series is just hurting. Very little racing anywhere in the pack.

The Cup Race

I thought it was a great race. Of course, it had to be the hottest day in Loudon so far that week, and I got roasted in the stands. Note – I need to bring a neck towel and ice next time. No sunburn, but just a nice good old fashioned 4 hour roast in an oven.

There was some actual racing going on almost every lap, although track position was still king. Tony Stewart did not look like he had a top-5 capable car until he ended up in front. Likewise, Dale Jr. looked strong until bad pit strategy got him mired back.

Vickers – I was trying to follow him early, and he didn’t look that great. But once he got into 3rd position, his car started looking strong. From my vantage point, he was driving into the corner a little higher than Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart, and was driving with more intensity than either of them. Once he settled in a little and stopped over-driving the corner, his car started looking like a winning car.

The crowd also seemed to be rooting for him – when he passed Stewart, a cheer erupted. When he passed Busch for the lead, an even bigger cheer erupted. Leaving the track, I talked with some fans who said they felt good about Vickers winning, since he was an underdog and was back on a positive career path.

So it was a popular win.

Newman

In case you haven’t heard it, here is a link to Kyle Busch calling Newman a big ogre.

Ryan Newman had a so so day going, until about a lap before he was wrecked. He had stayed out to gain track position, and was on older tires on an already mediocre car, so he was kind of a road block. Kyle Busch kind of roughed him up when passing, so the next corner, Newman drove in deep trying to get back to Kyle Busch. Keselowski then took advantage and slid a little high off the corner while Newman chopped down. There was more contact, and Newman gave Keselowski a shot on the exit of the corner, causing Keselowski to almost spin. Then, 1 lap later, Kurt Busch just plain over drove the corner. I know the TV replay shows Kenseth hitting him or nearly hitting him, but from my angle, Kurt was already drifting up the track into Newman by the time Kenseth had anything to do with it.

You can read the whole war of words between Newman and Kyle Busch here.

Newman kind of proved Kyle Busch’s point, saying:

I’m sure if I rearrange his face I might fix it

and ended his statement with:

It seems like after his comment about me not having a ride it seems like he has way more to lose than I do.

Threats and retribution. Sounds like a frustrated ogre.

Overall Race Rating

This was one of the better Cup races I’ve seen in person. Good on ya’ NASCAR.

Danica Patrick

After our last Schmak in which we took Kyle Petty to task for saying that Danica is not a racer, I felt I had to follow her race a little more closely than normal. Most of the TV coverage provides superficial analysis (at best) of her racing, and while I’m glad it’s not the Danica-cam all-the-time style coverage that happened when she first entered the series, the current reporting doesn’t provide any depth at all.

By my observation, she is definitely racing. She passed two cars on the outside on the restart, and raced with the 7 car, 93 car, 83 car, and made passes. In particular, she raced the 83 of David Reutimann for 30 laps straight. She would get a run off of 2, run side by side down the backstretch, have to back off the entry of 3 in order to run side by side, and couldn’t get back to the gas quick enough to pass David. So she’d have to fall in line, stalk, diamond the corner to get a run off, run side by side, and then keep the car low while David chopped her on the exit.

She was frustrated on the radio, mildly cussing at Reutimann a few times when he diamonded the corner on the exit, but she never overdrove the car, never touched Reutimann (as far as I could see). She acknowledged that she needed to get better at keeping speed while trying to pass, but she was definitely trying, and definitely racing. Kyle Petty is dead wrong about her not being a racer.

Villeneuve at Sonoma

“We are very happy to have Jacques Villeneuve representing our eyewear in the race at Sonoma Raceway,” said Robert Cooper, Racing Director for TAG Heuer Eyewear.

Three things:

1) Look out, Danica!

2) Rob, I didn’t know you had a side job.

3) That 51 car is going to be in even worse shape than when Bobby Labonte drove it.

Could have used a different picture

So Jeb Burton got his first truck win. But they could have picked a picture that didn’t highlight the empty stands.

Burton win empty stands

F1 cars – they just look weird

This is what we were talking about in the last podcast – the nose of the F1 cars.

From the side, it looks like a mustachioed race car:

F1_redbull_side

And from the front, it looks like a hungry whale:

F1 front

Just, meh.

F1 front

All-Star Schmak Showdown Schmegegge

We schmak the showdown, the All-star race, and posit some opinions about how to improve this next year (hint – it’s not switching venues to Las Vegas).

Picks for the 600:

Coach: Kasey Kahne (again)

Rob: Jimmie Johnson

Wrong way joystick cranking at Darlington

Join us for our 82nd(!) episode of the schmak.

Lots of awesome schmak silliness, including the gyro cam sham, Darlington’s boring opening laps, the racing that broke out near the end, and a fantastic preview of the All-Star race next week. Do you have a question about the All-Star format? Eligibility for the race? It’s all here in the latest schmak.

Picks for the Sprint Open race:

Coach: Jamie McMurray
Rob: Martin Truex Jr.

Picks for the All-Star race:

Coach: Kasey Kahne
Rob: Clint Bowyer

Weird Stuff in Richmond

This week, we schmak all things Richmond.

Penalties, tires, sprinkler malfunctions, it’s all here in the weekly Schmak of record.

Picks for next week at Talladega:

Coach: Dale Jr.

Rob: Cousin Carl Edwards

Penalties Schmenalties

On Wednesday (delayed from their normal Tuesday announcement due to Keselowski’s White House appearance), NASCAR announced penalties for team Penske involving 25 points, $100,000, and 6 week suspensions for crew and car chiefs for both the #2 and #22 Penske Fords.

That’s a pretty harsh penalty any way you look at it, made even harsher because NASCAR has not yet actually stated that anything that they confiscated was “illegal”.

Just that certain parts “weren’t in the spirit of the rules”.

Heck of a penalty for not having NASCAR spirit.

Danica’s old ride

For the first four races of 2013, Danica Patrick has raced in 3 new and 1 almost new car.

But for Martinsville, she’s getting a four year old car, while teammate/boss Tony Stewart is getting a car built last year and other teammate Ryan Newman is getting a brand new car.

In fact, the car that Danica is driving on Sunday was last on the track in November 2010, more than 2 years ago.

Methinks someone at Stewart Haas has low expectations for Danica at Martinsville.

Full chassis rundown from Jayski.com:

Chassis No. 10-535: This car (formally No. 14-535) debuted in April 2009 with Tony Stewart at the wheel at Phoenix International Raceway, where Stewart used it to qualify sixth and lead once for 19 laps before finishing second. The last outing for Chassis No. 10-535 was in November 2010, when Stewart started 20th and finished 17th at Phoenix. The car was on standby for the No. 14 team throughout many race weekends in 2011 and 2012 but was never pressed into service. Since the end of the 2012 season, it was updated to the sixth-generation (Gen-6) Chevrolet SS configuration and transferred to the No. 10 GoDaddy.com team of Danica Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson.

Hamlin vs. Logano

On the Dan Patrick show, Hamlin had this to say about the last lap wreck with Joey Logano at Fontana:

“If it wasn’t intentional, it’s the worst case of car control I’ve ever seen as a driver.”

In a separate ESPN interview, Logano had a different story:

“My number one goal is to go win a race,” Logano told ESPN’s Marty Smith. “So did I intentionally wreck him? No, I did not intentionally do that. If I was going to do that I would have hit him in the left-rear tire. I hit him in the door. It’s hard racing at that point.”

I tend to believe Logano has problems controlling his car. I think Ryan Newman agrees.

Mark Martin to the 11 – screw you MWR?

Mark Martin will be subbing for Denny Hamlin in the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

He was not scheduled to be in the MWR #55 car at Martinsville, but he was supposed to be in the #55 in the following three events at Texas, Kansas, and Richmond.

Does this mean more seat time for Brian Vickers? More for Michael Waltrip? It’s like a semi-silly season already.

UPDATE: This probably explains it a bit better:

MWR, according to sources, would like to keep Vickers in the 55 for as much as possible because he is the likely replacement for Martin next season.

Fontana Notes – Biffle, Logano, SAFER barriers, Tony Stewart

1) Biffle finished 6th, well ahead of Fontucky Master Jimmie Johnson, who came home 12th.

And it looked like he was having a decent day. I missed the boat on that one, I guess there is a reason the people paid to do pre-race analysis talked about Biffle.

Although he had to cut Matt Kenseth’s tire and pass the Hamlin/Logano wreck to get it.

2) Logano definitely drove it in too hard, and over drove the corner and caused that wreck. However, what sent Denny to the hospital was a LACK OF SAFER BARRIER ON A WALL. Haven’t we learned this lesson before? Vegas w/Jeff Gordon?

As the rule goes, if there is a chance that a car can hit any spot on the race track, it will.

We’ve seen that at Daytona this year, and at Bristol a few times with Michael Waltrip and Mike Harmon.

3) What the heck is Tony Stewart eating? Whatever it is, it’s making him angry and obese.

Also, I guess in his mind, he’s the only one who can throw a block?

EDIT: Just saw this yahoo sports article. Headline says it all:

Tony Stewart, blocking aficionado, is ticked at Joey Logano for blocking.

Twisted Knickers at Bristol

It was a greaaaat day for some greaaaat racing in the hills of Tennessee. But the schmakers still found some stuff to schmak about.

Restarts – is NASCAR just sort of letting them happen now?

Keselowski – only driver to finish in top 5 each race so far.

Dale Jr. – only other driver to finish top 10 in each race so far.

Why I haven’t picked Khane this season so far.

And of course the Denny vs. Joey thing.

Shortlist for next week at Fontucky:
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Brad Keselowski
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Kevin Harvick or Matt Kenseth

Watch the finish to the 2011 race – pretty darn good.

Picks for Fontucky:

Coach: Kyle Busch

Rob: Dale Jr.

Bristol schmak live 5:00 pacific

We will be love schmaking at 5 pacific today. Catch us at http://70.185.182.78:8000/listen.m3u

Racebuddy!

The nationwide race will have race buddy coverage! This was the thing where you could watch the in-car camera from multiple cars, and get live audio streams and all sorts of things.

Racebuddy

Does anyone know if this is happening on the cup side tomorrow?

Are we supposed to believe this?

So, have you seen the “Pepsi MAX – Jeff Gordon” video?

It’s probably pretty obvious that the salesman was a little too quick to go from “I’m calling the cops” to “Let’s go again”. And the Pepsi can in the car – no comment? He had to be in on the joke.

But more importantly, did you notice that there was never a single shot of Jeff Gordon actually driving, except for the first two start/stop things? Smells like a stunt driver.

Also, at 3:01, there’s a very obvious Jeff Gordon voice over. Silly commercials, trying to be “real” and go “viral”.

UPDATE: Fakery semi-confirmed (no one should be surprised by this).

UPDATE 2: From a Nascar.com article

The debate quickly ensued over whether the video was real, partly staged or an outright fake. Gordon didn’t do his own driving, though he said he thought he could “pull off 90 percent of it,” but no matter how contrived the short film was or wasn’t, the court of YouTube opinion has judged it an online hit.